Public Meeting to discuss Brick by Brick Developments 16/03/2018 13:17:00......Posted by Helen Redfern
It was standing room only at last night's meeting, hosted by Conservative Councillors Tim Pollard, Jason Perry and Lynne Hale, to discuss with residents the impact of Brick by Brick Developments.
Brick by Brick is an independant company, wholly owned and funded by Croydon Council, that will build on a number of sites across the Borough, albeit with a disproportionate number in the south of the Borough. These will not be council houses being provided for people in greatest need, and it seems not especially affordable for a young person on an average wage. It seems most of the units will be sold at normal market rates to make a profit.
The overwhelming message from attendees was frustration that the Labour Council has so flagrantly disregarded the very valid concerns of residents local to each of the proposed sites. We all agree that more housing is needed in Croydon but this can be achieved in such a way that takes on board exisiting residents' concerns and improves rather than damages our neighbourhoods.
Councillor Tim Pollard, Leader of Croydon Conservatives, explained that should the Conservatives win the Local Election on May 3rd, the Conservatives would put an immediate stop on Brick by Brick developments that have not been started (and thus far a brick has yet to be laid!) so that their appropriateness can be reassessed.
Thank you to those who attended from Riddlesdown Residents Association and Montpelier and Kingsdown Residents Association - and who spoke so eloquently on behalf of our neighbours. I hope I managed to speak to you all!
Quest Academy Visit 28/11/2018 08:19:00.......Posted by Helen Redfern
As a member of the Scrutiny Children and Young People Sub-Committee, I visited The Quest Academy in Selsdon. Its predecessor, Selsdon High, was a struggling school and the Senior Leadership Team of this relatively new school has worked hard to create a positive environment that encourages successful outcomes for pupils.
During our visit last Friday, we had a tour of the school which has been completely rebuilt. There are a lot of thoughtful touches that help learning to take place and make it easier to teach. There are also some great outside spaces including a new £200k AstroTurf pitch. As the new facilities replaced both the old school and the leisure centre, the welcome trade off has been that many of these top-class facilities are available for use by the wider community outside of school hours – a ‘win’ for everyone.
The focus of our visit was a discussion with the Head Teacher, Mr Crofts, about how difficult behaviour is managed and how the school works with the Council’s Fair Access Panel to avoid excluding children. This later fed through to a discussion in last night’s Scrutiny Children and Young People Sub-Committee in which we discussed school exclusions, which are low, and whether Academies act differently from Local Authority Schools – the data thus far does not provide much insight.
The Quest Academy joined The Collegiate Trust earlier this year which I am sure will involve a sharing of knowledge and resources that will help all of the schools within the Trust.
Question Time at Croydon Synagogue 26/11/2018 11:59:00.......Posted by Helen Redfern
The Croydon Synagogue in Shirley hosted a Question Time session last night with a panel including Chris Philp MP, Mark Gardner from Community Security Trust, a senior member of the Israeli Foreign Ministry and the Croydon Central MP.
Initial questions focussed on the threats to Israeli security, personal threats to Jews in the UK and there was palapable anger in the room as views on anti-Semitism within the Labour Party were raised, particulalry in relation to Jeremy Corbyn's views and actions.
Other areas covered included Brexit with one audience member comparing the divisions it has caused with the divisions within Israeli families who have differing views in how to resolve the Palestinian issue. The delayed Westfield development was discussed as was the difficulty keeping the High Street alive in the face of strong competition from online shopping.
I reflected on how similar the UK and Israel are - we have many of the same concerns from worryng about our children when they go out, to trying to level the playing field between our High Street and global internet retailers. However, I also reflected that I go to a lot of events in the Borough that, unlike this event, do not require security guards from CST and a Police van sat outside. It's a real concern that the Jewish community feel this level of fear in the UK in 2018.
Speaking to local residents 24/11/2018 18:45:00.......Posted by Helen Redfern
Whilst we have a local ward surgery at which residents can speak with Cllr Simon Hoar and me about local issues, we decided that it would be worth knocking on a few doors and asking residents what they'd like us to concentrate on.
Earlier today, we spoke to residents in the Norman Avenue/Florence Road area and then in the Grange Road/Braemar Avenue area. Common themes across the 2 areas were the difficulties with the new waste collection services, parking diffilulties and the speed of traffic despite the new 20mph zone being implemented. Sadly none of these were surprising as we both receive a lot of correspondence about these topics.
An additional concern to residents in Norman Avenue and Derrick Avenue is the planning permission granted by Croydon Council to squeeze 37 homes into a thin piece of land between the back gardens and the train track. These new homes will be exceedigly close to the train track so the living experience for those residents will be poor. The area that is being built on regularly floods - as users of Purley Oaks station will know - so this will be exacerbated. There are just 20 car parking spaces for the development so given that it is difficult to park in this area at the best of times, I foresee problems on that front too. I fully understand why residents are so distressed that this planning permission was granted.
If you do have any local concerns do email us or drop in to our monthly ward surgery at Christ Church on the first Saturday of the Month.
Riddlesdown Litter Pick 17/11/2018 16:14:00.......Posted by Helen Redfern
We had another well attended litter pick in Riddlesdown today, in part due to a great turnout from the Beavers and Cubs. Such a good turnout meant we collected quite a lot but my family felt that it was harder to find litter to collect than usual. We certainly walked further than usual to find the same amout as the last few times. I understand that Riddlesdown Collegiate and the Council have organised their own litter picks together which will have cleared some of the litter for us but hopefully people are more aware generally that dropping rubbish, especially plastic, is not good for our environment.
However, just like last time, the bulk of the litter we collected was single-use plastic water bottles. We could cut this further if everyone remembered to take a refillable one with them.
The next litter pick will probably be in March. Hopefully we'll see even more residents there next time.
Remembrance Sunday 11/11/2018 21:11:00.......Posted by Helen Redfern
This morning saw the Remembrance Service at St Edmund’s Church in Riddlesdown. It was the first time that the church had held a wreath-laying service outside and it was great to see over 40 cubs and scouts arrive with their standards. I was honoured to be asked to deliver the traditional Remembrance reading from the Book of Ecclesiastes.
The weather wasn’t terribly kind to us with the service coinciding with 20 minutes of heavy rain but the sun finally broke through as reveille sounded – a beautiful symbolism.
I then made my way to Katharine Street where members of the armed forces and uniformed group completed their march from North End and wreaths were laid by civic leaders and representative of the armed forces and community groups. It was a very well attended event.
It’s been a thought provoking day, and we will remember all those who made the ultimate sacrifice for us.
Police Ward Panel 08/11/2018 11:25:00.......Posted by Helen Redfern
On Tuesday we had our second meeting of the Purley Oaks and Riddlesdown Police Ward Panel. It was good to see some new members, especially a student representative from Riddlesdown Collegiate who provided us with a useful perspective on a number of issues including the difficulties experienced trying to use the 412 bus service – an issue that has only been made worse by TFL’s recent reduction in the service.
Our ward is relatively safe with the main issues being burglary and car related crime in addition to domestic violence which has its own specific Borough-wide action team.
One spike in burglaries has been exacerbated by overgrown vegetation on a footpath so I will be contacting the Council to see if we can have this cut back.
Our Safer Neighbourhood Team is very approachable and can be contacted in the following way:
Mobile: 07584 186578
If you would like to come along to the next Police Ward Panel, expected to be in January/February, do get in touch with PC Pell at the above email address.
Croydon Hate Crime Awareness Week 14/10/2018 18:02:00.......Posted by Helen Redfern
Croydon Hate Crime Awareness Week is currently being hosted by Croydon Council and Croydon Voluntary Action. Yesterday I attended a panel discussion entitled, "Treating Misogyny as a Hate Crime".
It might seem that misogyny would only occur between individuals but the example discussed was Croydon Council not listening to residents in Thornton Heath who wanted to have a hedge cut so that it would not block sight-lines in a park. Reducing the height of the hedge would make the park safer and more accessible for women and schoolgirls who walk a long way round to school rather than using the park as a short cut.
I was really disappointed that the Labour councillors contacted about the impact of the hedge have been so disinterested in listening to and acting on the concerns of local women.
Riddlesdown Collegiate Quiz Night 13/10/2018 11:51:00.......Posted by Helen Redfern
Much fun was had last night at the Riddlesdown Collegiate Quiz, brilliantrly organised by the Friends of Riddlesdown Collegiate, with the quiz itself devised by parent Mark Cooper.
Thirteen teams turned up to test themselves on subjects such as Geography, Music and Sport. Much to our surprise, my team won by one point, We even won a trophy!
The aim of the night was for the Friends of Riddlesdown Collegiate to raise funds for the school. Look out for more events or, if you have an idea for a fundraiser, do let them know.
Maiden Speech 10/10/2018 12:16:00.......Posted by Helen Redfern
I made my Maiden Speech in the Council Chamber at this week's full Council Meeting.
I provided Members with a whistle-stop tour of our wonderful ward. There is much to commend in Purley Oaks & Riddlesdown but I ensured that I made the point that some residents feel as if they are under seige from developers knocking down family homes to build blocks of flats, and the impact of the Brick by Brick developments in our area. I'm sure we'd all like to believe that the needs and concerns of residents in all wards are considered when planning decisions are made.
Intensification of the suburbs 04/10/2018 22:00:00.......Posted by Helen Redfern
The consultation is now underway on Croydon Council's Suburban Design Guide Supplementary Planning Document (SPD2), otherwise known as ‘intensification of the suburbs’.
On Saturday 29th September I attended a public consultation at Purley Library which was well attended whilst I was there. Ward residents may be interested to see the proposals for Brighton Road/Sanderstead Road area.
Please do contact us with any issues or concerns you may have. We answer all our constituents' correspondence and value your comments. If you want your concern addressed by your local team, please follow the link above.